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Weak El Nino Predicted for Winter 2012 / 2013

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posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 07:26 PM
According to various weather sources (World Meterological Organization, NOAA, Farmer's Almanac, etc.), it appears that we are in for a weak to moderate El Nino pattern for this upcoming winter 2012 / 2013.

We had our first freeze out here in west Texas this morning, which is a bit early for this area (by about 3 weeks), so I started to research and found that the El Nino warmth in the Pacific is in place.

How do El Nino conditions affect the world?

Past El Niño events during the northern hemisphere autumn and winter have been associated, among others, with drier than normal conditions in parts of Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, northeastern Brazil, southeastern Africa and parts of Asia.

Wetter than normal conditions have, in the past, tended to be experienced in Ecuador and northern Peru, as well as southern Brazil to central Argentina and parts of eastern Africa. El Niño winters tend to be mild over western Canada and parts of the northern United States, and wet over the southern United States.

Source listed above.

Here it is in a visual for the United States:

And for North America and Europe:

Note the above image shows what is known as the Arctic Oscillation. Naturally, there is more than one ocean, so there is more than one effect on our winter weather outlook. In fact, there is a multitude of factors to consider when trying to judge what the weather is going to do.

However, we also have the NAO, or North Atlantic Oscillation, which operates in tandem with the Arctic Oscillation:

The NAO or North Atlantic Oscillation is simply a "blocking" pattern that allows for cold air to slow down and allows LOW pressure to form off the coast and has time to explode into snowstorms.

It's basically the traffic cop of weather. Slow the pattern down and the odds of a juiced up system getting into the Eastern Part of the U.S. starts to increase. Negative NAO = More storm chances east of the Mississippi River.

It appears that we are going to be a bit colder this winter, with increased precipitation, due to the negative AO:

The AO has a positive and negative phase, and is closely related to the NAO. It is not common for the NAO and AO to both be in the same phase at the same time. In the positive phase, the polar vortex that holds cold air up in the Arctic is strengthened, and the cold air is locked up north. However, in the negative phase, this vortex weakens, and the cold air is unleashed south into the US.

It’s no coincidence that the regional-scale air pressure patterns linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation are visible in the same maps used to illustrate the Arctic Oscillation. The similarity makes sense: many meteorologists consider the North Atlantic Oscillation to be a “regional subset” of the Arctic Oscillation, which operates across the whole Northern Hemisphere.

The east coast of the US could have some whopper snow storms. The southern tier of the US will be wetter than normal.

Succinctly put:

The US and Canada are in for a real battle this autumn.

Think of it as a battle of the heavyweights. In the north corner of the ring, it’s the Arctic Oscillation. Its punishing blows can knock you out cold. In the west corner lurks the El Niño. Don’t let the name, which means “little boy”, fool you. He can come roaring out with a cold punch to the South and hot and heavy in the North.

The El Niño is weak but may pack a warm punch later.

Oh, and just to make the battle even more interesting – in the east corner is the hot Atlantic. This battler has been the past champion, dominating the ring, baking the US with scorching hot temperatures. The champion is not going to give up easily.

On Saturday, September 22, the opening bell rang and autumn starts. The battle to see which forces shape this fall’s weather will begin. In short, the hot dry summer is finally dragging to a close and a stormier fall is about to begin.

Let’s pretend that there is a ringside announcer. He is sizing up Round 1 – the opening week of autumn.
The Champion, the hot Atlantic still controls the ring. The US is still warm and dry, but it looks like he is getting tired. Some cooler temperatures are entering the South.
The cold Arctic Oscillation is entering the ring. Those winds that trap polar air north are weakening and some cooler air is surging into the Great Lakes and the Midwest. Already we are seeing snowflakes over the Great Lakes. The AO won’t do much this round, but he is shaping up to be a real contender. This winter will be colder than last winter.

There are some weather forecasters who are forecasting a "negative ENSO" pattern (neither El Nino or La Nina...La Nina is the pattern we had last year, the cause of much of the drought in the US), but I'm leaning towards a weak El Nino, based on my own observations of an early freeze this far south, and the decent amount of rain we've been getting of late.

The worst part of the El Nino scenario is the wet weather in California, which is always a precursor to landslides due to burned-out hillsides, and a glut of snow in the northeastern US. Colder air also means higher utility costs.

But weather is a fickle thing, and forecasting it is difficult. However, this is what the weather blogs and sites are predicting. Better have a little extra food and water stored, just in case things get crazy.

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 07:32 PM
I know we are due for a big snow... We've had very mild winter the past few years. This year the trees are turning more red than yellow..and I have read that this means colder winter.

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 07:33 PM
I am ready for nice, stormy winter. I'll remember this post when my house gets blown over by some freak hurricane or tsunami.

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 07:33 PM

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posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 07:35 PM

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posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 07:36 PM
reply to post by Neopan100

It could get ugly in your neck of the woods. Never hurts to have extra food and water, just in case you're stuck at home and can't get out for a few days. Better to do it now, than to fight the crowds when they hear the weather report and start to panic.

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 07:37 PM
reply to post by smashdem

Well, if you're in Monterey Bay as your avatar suggests, the thing you have to worry about is continuous rains which cause flooding and washed out roads. I used to live in Monterey County, and I do remember....

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 07:38 PM
reply to post by DocHolidaze

LOL. Well, there's winter...and there's WINTER!!

Let's hope it's the former and not the latter.

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 07:46 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 07:49 PM
Thanks for this information. I live near Lake Michigan and have been saying all summer that with the lake being its warmest on record, and if we get the real arctic cold from the north, we'll have some major lake-effect snows that we haven't seen before.

Time to dig in for a real winter!

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 08:02 PM
reply to post by _BoneZ_

I'll bet you are correct. My daughter just moved to upstate New York, and I sort of hinted about lake effect snows. She has never lived in a cold climate, I think she's in for a major shock.

It never hurts to be prepared. Weather forecasts can be wrong, but it just feels like it's going to be an interesting winter. The freezing air going over the warm lakes causes the heavy snow, right?

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 08:31 PM

Originally posted by FissionSurplus
The freezing air going over the warm lakes causes the heavy snow, right?

Correct. And the warmer the lakes are, the heavier the snow is. Same concept with hurricanes. The warmer the waters, the stronger the hurricanes get.

With the record temps both air and lake, I'm expecting some significant lake-effect snows if the right arctic air comes down from Canada. We'll see.

P.S. - We've actually had some lake-effect rain a couple days this past week or so. Cold air going across the very warm lake will also cause lake-effect rain as well.

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 10:46 PM
very interesting.

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 10:48 PM
reply to post by crazyguy2012

Thanks! I'm a bit of a weather geek, so this stuff is really interesting to me. I'm glad its at least somewhat interesting to some of the other people on this site.

posted on Oct, 8 2012 @ 11:04 PM
reply to post by _BoneZ_

AHHHH, you gotta love the lake affect snow from Lake Michigan. Weather reports say 2-3 in. sometimes it ends up 2-3 feet. I absolutly love storms that come off the lake(thunder) I do not live up there anymore. can still get lake affect here to...I say bring it on. I got a pellet stove and a lot of books!!

posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 12:21 AM
reply to post by FissionSurplus

One of the things I haven't seen here is that we need a hard winter. That precipitation will help the crops come next year and refill reservoirs and such.

It won't be pretty but we need it to happen.

posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 05:39 AM
Great thread!

I had read about this last month when seeing what they were predicting for this coming winter. I was surprised to see predictions of "above average" snowfall for the SE parts of the US where I live. Of course my youngest son thinks that would be "epic!" since if we get just a couple of inches of snow, schools close here.

As long as their's no ice storms. Blah! Those suck! With all the destroyed trees and power loss.

posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 05:58 AM
Thank you for this thread. I know some will say it's silly to worry about the weather. It comes no matter what.

But it never hurt to be reminded, and to prepare. Having extra food, water, and wood for the fire doesn't hurt.
We have planned to add additional insulation on the outside and inside of all of our windows.

And we do hope we get some extra precipitation. We need it badly here in the midwest. This summer really reaked havok on our food supplies. Another year like this and we could have really bad times. We do alot of fishing and usually catch and release. But this year we have left the game fish alone and have been catching lots of crappie, and keeping most of it. The Dnr reported that we had an over abundance of crappie in the lake we fish. So harvesting alot more than we normally would. We all love tuna salad. Well crappie salad is good too.
If anyone is interested, I have some tried and true recipes that we all here really enjoy.

posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 07:44 AM
reply to post by FissionSurplus

I have been following the weather patterns for some time. It started as a lark prediction about an Ark Storm (40 days 40 nights kind of thing). Then after my prediction I ended up doing all kinds of research and it definetely looks like this will be a very "interesting" winter.
edit on 9-10-2012 by crazyguy2012 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 08:17 AM
reply to post by FissionSurplus

APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE to you my friend for taking time to investigate the information shared here on this thread. I was up to the same but dropped the ball due to time constraints online while working the gardens and green house in preps for winter.

This is what I have 'sensed' yet could not get definitive answers on earlier in the year as not a single source wanted to stick their necks out to claim any real capture of the future weather patterns coming our way.

I enjoyed reading your entire thread and the pictures only stood to enhance the efforts to explain what may be. I especially liked how they termed the meeting of elements as fighters. It will still stand to reason which ever fighter or 'corner' wins out as to what we will get this winter.

No doubt the prevailing winds have become more unpredictable due to several different reasons none of which are generally considered as weather research is like most other things so compartmentalized that the big picture is seldom considered but in this thread I think they have touched on as many differing and possible factors as we need to understand the importance of what may come to pass.

Thanks, I do hope you stay current on this winters weather 'shocks' I think will be headed our way.

Again thank you for a job well done.

(MODS, please applaud this gentleman for an excellent information piece which has been hard to come by this year.)

edit on 9-10-2012 by antar because: (no reason given)

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